Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019.07.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 13:11-14

Questions for Littles: What does the apostle begin by saying in 2 Corinthians 13:11? What does the apostle tell them to become? What three things does he tell them to do? What will be with them as they do this? How does he tell them to greet one another (2 Corinthians 13:12)? Who greet them (2 Corinthians 13:13)? With what three things does he bless them in 2 Corinthians 13:14?
For someone who has just pleaded with them that he not have to come in sharpness to make a painful visit, the apostle’s closing to this letter is very affectionate. He calls them brethren. He reminds them of his stated goal for them from the end of 2 Corinthians 13:9—that they would come to be everything that Christ has called them to be. It is not his own honor at which he aims but theirs.

The word that is translated “comfort” in 2 Corinthians 13:11 is that ‘parakaleo’ word that we hear so much about. He is encouraging them that in the Spirit, in the Word, and in the Lord’s ministry to them through each other, they have called-alongside-them all that they need in order to arrive at this completion.

Of course, if we are to be used in this way in one another’s lives, we cannot be in continual disagreement on important things. As elsewhere in Scripture (and especially in the Corinthian letters), the apostle calls us here to be of one mind. To think the same things. Theological diversity is never praised in the Bible. Unity is attained by the perfecting of each one’s doctrine according to Scripture.

Yet, we know that if we all have doctrinal precision, this is not the same as having ‘good’ doctrine. For, the Bible presents itself as a book not just to be believed but especially to be lived. They are not only to be of one mind, but as each practices what they learn from Scripture, they are to live in peace.

How is it possible for a sinful church like Corinth to do this? Their wickedness is not so great as God’s love. Their tendency for strife is not so great as God’s peace. Ultimately, this is one of those arenas of grace—opportunities for His strength to be displayed in the midst of our weakness. It is God’s love and God’s peace that will be with them.

And that which they are to have with one another in their local congregation (2 Corinthians 13:12), they are to enjoy and extend to all the congregations of Christ’s church (2 Corinthians 13:13). Indeed, our fellowship is not only with one another; it is with the triune God. Upon His grace, it all rests. From His love, it all came. And in fellowship with Him, it is all done. Amen!
How are you being prepared for glory? Becoming of one mind with others of comprehensively Scriptural doctrine? Expressing and enjoying love and unity with other believers?
Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH409 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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